Friday, September 12, 2008

UPDATED: Jill Greenberg: Open Mouth, Insert Foot

Jill Greenberg makes some pretty interesting pictures, to be sure. Yet, if she wanted to commit professional suicide by slamming her clients, she should have just kept mum. In the David Walker's PDN Piece How Jill Greenberg Really Feels About John McCain (9/12/08), Greenburg is reported by PDN to have "rubbed her hands with glee" at the prospect of a portrait session of John McCain, since she's a hardcore Democrat.

Greenberg followed the "one for thee, one for me" approach, shooting her trademark style (see cover above), and then setting up (literally) McCain in another lighting setup (see the PDN piece for that image). PDN quotes her as saying

"He had no idea he was being lit from below,” Greenberg says. And his handlers didn’t seem to notice it either. “I guess they’re not very sophisticated,” she adds.
I say "Damn, she's not very bright to be admitting that. Good luck with your future high-profile portrait subjects who will now look at you with skeptical and critical eyes, Democrat OR Republican, since you're bringing your agenda to the shoots you do."

Here's where I bristled at what she had to say:
(Continued after the Jump)

Given her strong feelings about John McCain, we asked whether she had any reservations about taking the assignment in the first place...“I didn’t,” she says. ...Some of my artwork has been pretty anti-Bush, so maybe it was somewhat irresponsible for them [The Atlantic] to hire me.”
Really? Are you really that dense that you would call your client "irresponsible"? What were you thinking? Surely, not that the Atlantic, or that art director wherever they end up, or other art directors who will be concerned about the activist approach you bring to your work, will hire you again.

Next time, you might want to follow the "engage brain, THEN engage mouth" approach. Oh, and good luck on that audit.

Greenberg's client has weighed in (via the New York Post):
"We stand by the picture we are running on our cover," said Atlantic editor James Bennet. "We feel it's a respectful portrait. We hope we'll be judged by that picture."

But Bennet was appalled by Greenberg saying she tried to portray McCain in an unflattering way.

"We feel totally blind-sided," he said. "Her behavior is outrageous. Incredibly unprofessional."
More images and commentary: Out-Takes: Behind The Atlantic's McCain Cover

The author of the story weighs in here:
"I don't know Greenberg (I count this as a blessing) and I can add nothing to what James Bennet told the Post except to say that Greenberg is quite obviously an indecent person who should not be working in magazine journalism. Every so often, journalists become deranged at the sight of certain candidates, and lose their bearings. Why, this has even happened in the case of John McCain once or twice. What I find truly astonishing is the blithe way in which she has tried to hurt this magazine."
And the PR Agency for the magazine issued yet another statement by the editor:
We were not aware of the manipulated and dishonest images Jill Greenberg had taken until this past Friday.

When we contract with photographers for portraits, we don't vet them for their politics--instead, we assess their professional track records. Based on the portraits she had done of politicians like Arnold Schwarzenegger and her work for publications like Time, Wired, and Portfolio, we expected Jill Greenberg, like the other photographers we work with, to behave professionally.

Jill Greenberg has obviously not done that. She has, in fact, disgraced herself, and we are appalled by the manipulated images she has created for her Web site of John McCain.”

RELATED: On Jill Greenberg - "I don’t think what she did was wrong"

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.

[More: Full Post and Comments]

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Is Your Seminar Really A Sales Pitch?

Aaron over at What The Duck is spot-on here. I can't tell you how many programs I've PAID to attend that become 55 minutes sales pitch, 5 minutes useful information.

Now, I'm not saying that if I wasn't already going to use the product, the 55 minutes of demonstrating how great the product (or service) is, but when a program is billed as "Learn how to retouch" and then the entire session is a sales pitch for a set of photoshop actions, or a program is billed as "learn how to light" and the entire program is a sales pitch for a brand of lights, that's just plain wrong.

More than once I've attended organizational chapter meetings where it was a sales pitch for a lab, when it was supposed to be about how to color manage, or it was supposed to be how to develop a great website and it ended up being "here's how great our website service is".

Be darn sure you know who is presenting, and who they may be schilling for. The common refrain "know before you go" applies here.

(Comments, if any, after the Jump)

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.

[More: Full Post and Comments]

BREAKING: PhotoShelter Collection To Shut Down October 10th

As the sun rises on the West Coast, the news is not good - PhotoShelter, in an effort to sustain their PhotoShelter Personal Archive is closing the PhotoShelter Collection October 10th, according to sources. They will be making a formal annoucement shortly with an expanded explanation about PhotoShelter's plans moving forward.

(Continued after the Jump)
This impending announcement comes on the heals of a rough industry situation as both Getty Images and Jupiter Images are suffering losses, and the promotion of all-you-can-eat subscription models that are squeezing every bit of profit out of the market. PhotoShelter has always championed the interests of photographers - seeking to be an advocate and a true representative (that is - looking out for the best interests of those they were representing) and when it came to pass that a change in the business model (i.e. a higher percentage to PSC, or a lowering of per-image pricing to compete with Getty/et al) was the solution, PhotoShelter opted to close the Collection rather than act to diminish their service to photographers.

This shuttering of a division of PhotoShelter Inc, will have no effect on their monthly PhotoShelter Personal Archive, which I use on a regular basis to service my clients and I think is the client-image-delivery-platform of the future, as the concept of shipping CD's to clients becomes an antiquated one. In fact, with more time on their hands, they will be able to be more focused on growing that product, which is, according to sources, a key part of their plans moving forward.

More information as we get it.
Update: Official statement here.

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.

[More: Full Post and Comments]

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ASMP - Creating Chaos? (It's A Good Thing)

With the historic Presidential election less than 60 days away, you can expect there will be a great deal of chaos and consternation in the great state of Florida come election day. Will there be more hanging chads? More recounts? Who knows.

One thing though, is for certain, before the real chaos begins, there will be some creative chaos happening in the sunshine state - thanks to the ASMP Central Florida chapter and a whole host of sponsors - from AdWeek to Emma email marketing, Mac Papers, to LexJet. But it's not just about photography, it's about video, printing, and so forth.

In the line-up are ASMP national speakers Peter Krogh and Blake Discher, talking about the newly evolved workflows/image storage and search-engine-optimization respectively. (I don't need Florida SEO - check this link to see who's listed first for Miami Photographer). But if you do, and I'm betting you do, Blake will tell you all about it. So, if you're not planning to fly to chilly New York City a few days later for PhotoPlus Expo, (Blake's Is Your Web Site Doing All It Can to May Your Money?", or Peter's Practical Image Storage) heading to sunny South Florida will be your best bet to catch these programs that will earn you more money (i.e. more assignments, thus more money), and save your sanity (i.e. redundant safe storage equals piece of mind).

(Continued after the Jump)

This is a collaborative conference - check out the other aspects of it:
  • The Pixel Conference – The Photoshop Conference for Designers...The Pixel Conference only focuses on the issues/topics that pertain to designers!
  • The Web Design Conference – What Designers Need to Know to Make It on the Web!
  • Motion Graphics Festival (MG Fest) is an innovative industry event showcasing creative motion picture design.
  • Create Chaos Job Fair - Brahn Awards & Events, producers of Create Chaos, has partnered with to produce a best-in-class job fair...
  • Printing, Paper & Packaging Design Conference: This show is for designers, art directors and marketing professionals looking for new and creative solutions in the world of printing, paper and packaging.
  • STASH Theatre is a showcase of animation, VFX and motion graphics packed with outstanding commercials, broadcast design, branded content...
  • The Vector Conference – The how-to Illustrator and Flash conference!
Damn, what a confab! So check out the schedule, and make time for what your ASMP Central Florida has to offer!

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.

[More: Full Post and Comments]

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The X Factor

I was passing the time during a shoot doing my morning reading. After reading about the repeated screw-ups with Bloomberg over the inaccurate reporting of Steve Jobs' death, and the false reporting of the bankruptcy of United Airlines, I was making my way through my own blog roll, which includes Chase Jarvis' blog. Chase' piece for today is "What You Can't See Matters", and it's worth a read.

To that end

(Continued after the Jump)
I want to echo what Chase has written. I can't tell you the number of times that I got the job because I was easy-going, friendly, I deliver all the time on time, or some other matter totally unrelated to my creative vision, talent, technical expertise, and so forth. In other words, all those things that we worry about - "prime lens, or zoom"; "iso100 or 400 to get a smidge more depth of field"; "3200k or 2900k"?

The shoot I am on now, is a prime example. We have a client that needs (and is happy to pay the surcharge for) same day rush delivery of images. Someone prior to me lost them as a client because they failed to deliver when they said they would.

Previously, we wrote "Wise Words for your Client Dialog - When there's a problem or Question" about the importance of client communication and customer service, Awkward Moments, which continues the point about how to be more effective in your communications with clients.

On top of that, there's the client who came to you and then left for someone else, only to return. I call them the "Prodigal Client", and wrote about them here, and they're coming back for ease of interaction, oftentimes.

We also wrote - Collaborate or Suffer The Consequences - in response to Rob Haggart's A Photo Editor blog -

"just because you are a phenominal photographer, with a great style, doesn't mean clients will want to work with you. And, if you make it worse, you make it so that you can't take direction. This is a recipe for a lot of one-off clients, with little repeat business."

I also wrote - "If I said to you, after you botched a job, or just were laxadasical about your service/followup component of an assignment, that you would loose well over $10k, would you handle things differently?" in this article - Lost Income - Over the long term. And that is a cautionary tale about just how much losing a client will cost you over the life of your business.

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.

[More: Full Post and Comments]
Newer Posts Older Posts